US warship sails by contested island chain in South China Sea in message to Beijing, official says

October 1, 2018

Fox News:

A U.S. warship sailed Sunday near two contested Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea, the location where Beijing has built up military fortifications despite a pledge not to do so, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The “guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea to uphold the rights and freedoms of all states under international law. Decatur sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands,” the U.S. official, who declined to be identified, said in a statement.

It’s not immediately clear how Beijing will respond. Normally, American warships have been shadowed by Chinese spy ships during similar operations in the past in addition to fighter jets.

The latest military operation — which the Pentagon calls “routine” freedom of navigation maneuvers — comes days after a series of actions between global powers…

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